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How Much Oil In A 5.9 Cummins?

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The 5.9-liter Cummins engine is arguably the most popular heavy-duty diesel truck engine ever produced. However, to keep the engine running at its best, you need to put the right amount of oil in it. So, how much oil does a 5.9-liter Cummins take?

All 5.9-liter Cummins engine's oil capacity is 12 quarts with the filter. This includes the 12-valve, 24-valve, and common rail engines. Check the oil level after filling by starting the engine and letting it cool back down to normal operating temperature, and then pull the dipstick and check the oil level according to the markings on the dipstick.

It doesn't matter the engine; they all will fail without oil. This article will take a closer look at the 5.9-liter Cummins engine and what oil you need to keep it running for a very long time. In addition, we will answer other frequently asked questions about the 5.9-liter Cummins engine, so keep reading!

A display line up of 5.9 liter Cummins power units, How Much Oil In A 5.9 Cummins?

How Much Oil Does A 5.9-Liter Cummins Take?

If you ask anyone who has been around a 5.9-liter Cummins engine for a while, they will praise its durability and longevity.

This engine is known for going half a million miles with just regular maintenance. Most people who own a 5.9-liter Cummins will tell you that the oil capacity is 12 quarts. This includes the 12-valve, 24-valve, and common rail engines.

The Cummins engine manufacturer signage outside a factory

In addition, the oil filter is shared amongst each of these engines. This is good news because it means that you can buy the oil filter in bulk and save some money.

You should change the oil filter every time you change the oil. This is to ensure that the oil filter can do its job properly.

Now that you know the oil capacity, let's look at what oil you should use in your 5.9-liter Cummins engine.

What Oil Should I Use In My 5.9-Liter Cummins Engine?

There are a lot of different oils on the market, and it can be confusing to try and figure out which one is the best for your engine.

The type of oil you use will depend on the climates you typically drive in and what type of driving you do.

A turbo charged Cummins high powered engine

If you live in a cold climate and do a lot of stop-and-go driving, you will want to use an oil with a lower viscosity. This means that the oil will be thinner and will flow more easily.

In comparison, if you live in a hot climate and do mostly highway driving, you will want to use anoil with a higher viscosity. This means that the oil will be thicker.

The most important thing to remember is that you should always use the oil the manufacturer recommends. This is because they have done extensive testing to determine what oil is best for your engine. If you use a different oil, then you run the risk of damaging your engine.

To help you out, here is a chart of the most popular oils and their viscosities.

2003-2007 5.9-Liter Cummins (24 Valve, Common Rail) 

  • Above 0° Fahrenheit: SAE 15W-40
  • All Temperatures: SAE 5W-40 Synthetic

1998-2002 5.9-Liter Cummins (24 Valve)

  • Above 10° Fahrenheit: SAE 15W-40
  • 10° to 30° Fahrenheit: SAE 10W-30
  • 0° to -10° Fahrenheit (with block heater): SAE 10W-30
  • Below 0° Fahrenheit (without block heater): SAE 5W-30 Synthetic

1989-1998 5.9-Liter Cummins (12 Valve)

  • Above 10° Fahrenheit: SAE 15W-40
  • 0° to 10° Fahrenheit: SAE 10W-30
  • 0° to -10° Fahrenheit (with block heater): SAE 10W-30
  • Below 0° Fahrenheit (without block heater): SAE 5W-30 Synthetic

As you can see, there are a lot of different options when it comes to oil. The best thing to do is to consult your owner's manual to see what oil is recommended for your specific engine.

A heavy duty turbo diesel Cummins engine Ram 2500

How Often Should I Change The Oil In My 5.9-Liter Cummins Engine?

This is a question that gets asked a lot, and there is no simple answer. However, you should change the oil every 6,000-7,500 miles for the 12-valve and 24-valve engines. For the common rail engine, you can change the oil every 10,000-15,000 miles.

Cummins X15 Efficiency Series heavy duty diesel engine at the Commercial Vehicles Trade Fair. Can You Bore A 5.9 Cummins

However, the frequency of oil changes will depend on a few different factors.

Type Of Driving

The first factor is the type of driving you do. For example, if you do a lot of stop-and-go driving, then you will need to change your oil more frequently.

This is because the oil will break down faster due to the higher temperatures. In contrast, if you do mostly highway driving, then you can go longer between oil changes.

Type Of Oil

The second factor is the type of oil you use. For example, if you use synthetic oil, then you can go longer between oil changes.

This is because synthetic oils are designed to withstand higher temperatures and break down less easily. In comparison, if you use conventional oil, then you will need to change it more frequently.

Climate

The third factor is the climate you live in. If you live in a hot climate, then you will need to change your oil more frequently.

This is because the heat will break down the oil faster. In contrast, if you live in a cold climate, then you can go longer between oil changes.

All of these factors are important to consider when deciding how often to change your oil. If you are unsure, it is always best to err on the side of caution and change your oil more frequently. This will help to ensure that your engine stays healthy and runs smoothly.

What Is The 5.9-Liter Common Rail Engine?

The 5.9-liter common rail engine was introduced in 2003. This engine is different from the older 12-valve and 24-valve engines because it uses a high-pressure fuel system.

This allows the engine to run more efficiently and produce more power.

The 5.9-liter common rail engine is the most powerful 5.9-liter Cummins engine ever made. It produces up to 325 horsepower and 610 lb-ft of torque.

This engine is also very reliable and has a long lifespan. If you take care of it, then it will last for many years.

Can I Change The 5.9-Liter Cummins Oil Myself?

Two Cummins engine power units dislayed at a car show

Yes, you can change the oil yourself. However, to do this, you will need to purchase the correct oil and filter.

You can find the recommended oil for your specific engine in the owner's manual or by calling the dealer.

  1. Once you have the oil and filter, you will need to drain the old oil from the engine and then replace the filter.
  2. After that, you can add the new oil to the engine. But, again, make sure to check the level and add more if needed.
  3. Once you have finished, start the engine and let it run for a few minutes. This will help to distribute the oil evenly.
  4. After that, you can check the oil level one last time and add more if needed.
  5. Be sure to dispose of the old oil and filter properly. Do not pour it down the drain or put it in the trash.
  6. Call your local garage or service station to find out where you can take it for proper disposal.

Changing your own oil is a simple process that anyone can do. It will save you money and help to keep your engine running smoothly.

If you have any questions or need help, then you can always call the dealer or a professional mechanic. You can also check out this video tutorial:

What Are The Benefits Of Changing My Own Oil?

There are a few benefits to changing your own oil. The first benefit is that it will save you money. If you go to a garage or service station to have your oil changed, then it will cost you money for the labor.

However, if you do it yourself, then you will only need to pay for the oil and filter. This can save you a significant amount of money over time.

The second benefit is that you can be sure that the job is done properly. If you take your car to a garage or service station, then you have to trust that the workers will do a good job. However, if you do it yourself, then you can be sure that the job is done right.

Final Thoughts

A display line up of 5.9 liter Cummins power units

Sometimes an engine is only as good as the oil that flows through it. Therefore, you need to make sure that you use the correct oil for your engine and change it according to the recommended schedule.

If you do this, then you can be sure that your engine will run smoothly and last for many years. In addition, now that you know how important it is to change your oil, you can be sure to do it on a regular basis.

Wait, don't leave yet! Here are other topics you might be interested in:

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Can You Bore A 5.9 Cummins?

How Long Will A 24V Cummins Last?